MPUA Mutual Aid Program
For many years, the Mutual Aid Program sponsored by the Missouri Association of Municipal Utilities has helped member utilities face the risks of storm damage and other unpredictable emergency needs. Emergency readiness has grown in importance with heightened customer demands and concerns about a broader range of potential threats and vulnerabilities. The program is being geared for all relevant types of municipal utilities - electric, gas & water.
In order to participate, an MPUA member utility simply needs to have its governing board adopt an ordinance indicating its intention to participate and to submit certain necessary system information. The MPUA Mutual Aid Committee will then act to accept the utility as a participant in the program. Cities may continue to participate in other mutual aid arrangements along with the MPUA program in order to maintain relationships with non-municipal utilities in other states.
Improvements to our Mutual Aid Program:
- An organizational structure provides more localized readiness, with periodic contact that promotes continuing awareness of the program.
- Further improvements of the program will be possible without requiring Board action on minor changes.
- Compilation of up-to-date information on participating utility systems will help responders arrive on the scene with a better understanding of the system they are assisting.
- An implementation manual provides step-by-step "how to" guidance for basic emergency response readiness.
- The program is being geared for all relevant types of municipal utilities - electric, gas & water.
FEMA Mutual Aid Agreement
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) now requires mutual aid agreements to be in writing in order for costs associated with emergency assistance under those agreements to be reimbursed. The change is noted in policy update 9523.6, Mutual Aid Agreements for Public Assistance, issued on August 17, 1999, and applies to all emergencies declared after August 17, 1999.
A concern has been identified by APPA that some systems may not have agreements with cooperative utilities, utilities located across state lines, utilities that are not part of the existing mutual aid agreement, etc. In late May of 2000, discussions between the NRECA, APPA and FEMA led to the development of a one-page generic mutual aid agreement which meets the criteria spelled out in the new FEMA regulation.
It's very important to point out that this agreement is not meant to replace or supplement any existing agreements, but rather act as a stopgap while initiating a national agreement with all utilities which sign the agreement. By having each municipal in MPUA sign a copy of the agreement, in effect an agreement between APPA and NRECA signing members will be in place, making assistance from coops and other utilities in Missouri - as well as out-of-state - available as well. (It is not necessary for you to be an APPA member to complete the agreement. APPA is simply acting as a catalyst to put this agreement in place nationwide.)
Remember, should the need arise for you to request assistance from another utility due to a major disaster or emergency declared as eligible for FEMA assistance, FEMA will require a written mutual aid agreement have been in place before considering providing funds to cover such costs. (For additional criteria FEMA requires, check out FEMA's web site, above.)
A copy of the simple, generic, one-page agreement to download is listed below. Please review the form. We strongly suggest you consider executing the agreement and return via fax to Michael Hyland at 202/467-2992 or mail to APPA, ATTN: Michael Hyland, 2301 M Street, NW, Washington DC 20037-1484. Please forward a copy to the MPUA office for our records.
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